Return to PTO Activities


MIMS UIL 2020-2021

Welcome to the 2020-2021 Elementary School UIL Academic year!

A+ Academics Elementary are academic competitions to let your students compete and challenge themselves in different events. This year will look a little different from previous years. Our first 2 meets will be held virtually with the intention to return to in person meets for the spring semester.

There are many different events for your student to compete in. Some of the events have changed by condensing the grades and this year we will be able to send 5 students per event. We have wonderful parents that volunteer their time to coach our students. If you are skilled in one of the event categories and would like to be a volunteer coach, please email Please check the link to the UIL Academics page on the HISD website and the A+ Academics website for more information.

  • Art (4th/5th)
  • Chess Puzzle (2nd/3rd, 4th/5th)
  • Creative Writing (2nd)
  • Dictionary Skills (4th/5th)
  • Impromptu Speaking (2nd/3rd, 4th/5th)
  • Listening (4th/5th)
  • Maps, Graphs & Charts (4th/5th)
  • Mathematics (4th/5th)
  • Modern Oratory (2nd/3rd, 4th/5th)
  • Music Memory (2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th)
  • Number Sense (3rd, 4th, 5th)
  • Oral Reading English & Spanish (2nd/3rd, 4 th/5th)
  • Ready Writing (3rd4th, 5th)
  • Social Studies (4th/5th)
  • Spelling (3rd, 4th, 5th)
  • Storytelling (2nd/3rd)

See below for screenshots with all necessary materials pertaining to each event. There are links for sample tests, contest rules, and helpful tips for practicing.

Art (4th/5Th Grade)

This contest involves the study of paintings from the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and paintings or pictures from selected Texas museums. The Art Smart Bulletin, published every other year, is the source for study of history and art elements relative to the 40 art selections and is the final authority in the spelling of artists’ names and titles of art works. As part of their study, students will demonstrate an understanding of art history and interpret ideas and moods in original artworks while making informed judgments about the artwork.

Chess Puzzle (2nd/3rd, 4th/5th Grade)

The benefits of chess are well documented for players of all ages, and especially for young people. Chess puzzle competition is very different from tournament chess play. Contestants in a chess puzzle contest receive a paper-and-pencil test that includes a series of chess boards with pieces in particular positions. Questions are based on analysis of material or possible moves in each given diagram. See links above for sample tests and other resources.

Creative Writing (2nd Grade)

The contest is designed to promote creativity in an academic format and to encourage writing skills at an early grade level. Through preparation for the contest, students in second grade will be able to evaluate their own writing and the writing of others.

Contestants will be given a prompt with several captioned pictures. From these pictures, the students will create an original story based on their selections in 30 minutes. The stories must contain at least one of the pictured items, but it is not required that all items on the page be included.

Dictionary Skills (4th/5th Grade)

Through knowledge of the dictionary is a way to increase a student’s ability to find the information that is needed for class work as well as everyday living. The subject matter of all tests is taken from Merriam-Webster’s Intermediate Dictionary. Contestants may use other dictionaries in the contest, but the correct test answers will be found in the official dictionary.

Impromptu Speaking (2nd/3rdGrade, 4th/5th Grade)

Impromptu speaking provides opportunities for students to explore the use of the voice and body in speaking situations, to examine the different purposes for speaking, to organize ideas, to prepare and deliver various speeches and to develop self-confidence.


Listening (4th/5th Grade)

The listening contest is designed to help students recognize the importance of effective listening skills and to identify problems they may have in listening effectively. The contest provided a challenging format to test the improvement of their listening abilities and encourages students to develop the foundations skills they will throughout their lives both in and out of the classroom.


Maps, Graphs and Charts (4th/5th Grade)

The maps, graphs and charts contest is designed to help students to learn to get information from a variety of maps, graphs and charts including world maps, pie charts, bar charts and local area maps. The objective test will measure skills such as using a reference book to locate information, making comparisons, estimating and approximating, using scale and interpreting grid systems, legends and keys.


Mathematics (4th/5th Grade)

Learning to complete math problems quickly is a valuable skill in all facets of life including engineering, accounting, completing a tax return and even grocery shopping. This contest provides opportunities for students to further develop and then apply their math knowledge and skills. Note: this is a middle school event that welcomes elementary students.


Modern Oratory (2nd/3rd, 4th/5th)

In Modern Oratory, the contestants select one of the topics, determine the critical issues in the topic, and acknowledge both pro and con points citing support discovered in their research. Students memorize and recite the speech.

Music Memory (2nd-5th Grade)

The focus of the Music Memory contest is an in depth study of fine pieces of music literature taken from a wide spectrum of music genres to expose students to great composers, their lives and their music.


Number Sense (3rd, 4th, and 5th Grade)

Every day, individuals are called upon to use their ability to make quick mental calculations to make decisions. The developmental of such abilities should be an integral part of the math curriculum.



Oral Reading English & Spanish (2nd/3rd, 4th/5th)

Reading literature out loud provides opportunities for students to analyze the text, to grow and to develop as a performer, to communicate a message to an audience and to perform an artistic creation. The oral reading competition should be an extension of the classroom literary and language arts activities in poetry, short stories, and children’s fiction.



Ready Writing (3rd, 4th, and 5th Grade)

Texas has put a great emphasis on writing skills at all levels of school and all levels of state wide testing. Ready Writing builds those skills and helps students refine their writing abilities. In particular, this contest helps them to learn to write clearly and correctly a paper that is interesting and original.


Social Studies (4th/5th Grade)

This contest is designed to encourage students to expand their knowledge of social studies, particularly in the areas of history, government systems, economics, citizenship, and culture.



Spelling (3rd, 4th, and 5th Grade)

The spelling contest is designed to expose students to a wide variety of vocabulary words. It is not contest of memorization. Emphasis is placed on the rules of the English language, meanings and definitions, and root words.


Storytelling (2nd/ 3rd Grade)

To tell a story, the participant must develop skills is listening, thinking, and speaking. This contest also allows for the development of creative expression, something being given more attention in the professional world. For practice, teachers can use stories from any good children’s books or magazines.